Valley of Shadows is Book Two in the Valley Creek Redemption Series by author Candace West. It could be read by itself, but I highly recommend reading Book One, Lane Steen, first to get the full experience. This Christian historical romance is a poignant story of heartbreak, redemption, and crisis. I thought it was very emotional.
The well crafted story of Earl and Lorena picks up sixteen years after Earl vanished one day with his youngest daughter. He and Lorena now find themselves back together. Their relationship is strained to say the least. With resentment, regret, bitterness, hurt, and hope they tiptoe around each other to get a feel for what might be ahead.
Their oldest daughter is getting ready for the birth of her child so Lorena has come to Valley Creek assist her. Lorena was not prepared to see Earl and the flood of emotions that came with it. Earl has repented and acknowledged his wrongdoings. In fact, he has been seeking guidance from God.
This emotional charged story is full of tragedies, trials, love, hurt, and forgiveness that is wanted. It is also about a grief stricken town that needs an abundance of help to rebuild itself. Under everything is the message and glimmer of hope.
I enjoyed this book but wish I had read book one first. The author has a very nice style of writing. I was easily invested and because more involved with the characters the longer that I read. Anyone liking historical Christian would enjoy this. It gets a 4 out of 5 stars from me. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but these are my own words.
About the Book
Book: Valley of Shadows
Author: Candace West
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release date: March 2020
A shattered heart. A wounded spirit. A community in crisis.
Lorena Steen gave up on love years ago. She forgave her long-time estranged husband, but when circumstances bring her to the Ozark town of Valley Creek, she discovers forgiving is far from forgetting.
Haunted by his past acts of betrayal, Earl Steen struggles to grow his reclaimed faith and reinstate himself as an upstanding member of Valley Creek. He soon learns that while God’s grace is amazing, that of the small-town gossips is not.
When disaster strikes, the only logical solution is for Earl and Lorena to combine their musical talents in an effort to save the community. But even if they’re willing to work together, are they able to? Or will the shadows that descend upon Valley Creek reduce it to a ghost town.
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About the Author
Candace West was born in the Mississippi delta to a young minister and his wife. She grew up in small-town Arkansas and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. At twelve years old, she wrote her first story, “Following Prairie River.” In 2018, she published her debut novel Lane Steen. By weaving entertaining, hope-filled stories, Candace shares the Gospel and encourages her readers. She currently lives in Arkansas with her husband and their son along with two dogs and three bossy cats.
More from Candace
Why I Wrote Valley of Shadows
Can a villain become a hero? When I ended my debut novel Lane Steen, I knew someday I had to discover if a kidnapper and alcoholic was worth saving. Could that same person save a town after tragedy strikes while wrestling with his own demons?
Earl Steen had a dark valley to cross.
With a destroyed reputation, Earl must prove in Valley of Shadows that God has not wasted His efforts on him. Also, Lorena, his estranged wife, has her own score to settle. How can she when the villain no longer exists?
Nothing tugs at my heart more than lost, unrequited love. My second book focuses on their lost relationship. Earl and Lorena had haunted one another long enough. Could God mend what Earl had shattered?
Sitting down to write, I returned to Valley Creek and uncovered places within Earl’s heart that I never knew existed. Lorena’s struggles became mine as she grappled with understanding and forgiving. The dark places of their past somehow had to merge with the light of a hopeful future.
Getting Earl and Lorena to rediscover their love was a journey fraught with tension, grief, frustration, and hope. Was it worth every rewrite, every long hour staring at my computer screen waiting for my characters’ next move?
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Inklings and notions, June 23
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deb’s Book Review, June 24
Connie’s History Classroom, June 25
Locks, Hooks and Books, June 26
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 27
For Him and My Family, June 28
Artistic Nobody, June 29 (Author Interview)
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 29
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 30
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, July 1
Writing from the Heart Land, July 2
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, July 4
To celebrate her tour, Candace is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card, a paperback copy of Lane Steen and Valley of Shadows!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.